Do you remember the last time you actually managed to have a date night? Despite the fact that all the parenting and relationship advice tells us how important it is, very few couples I know ever actually get around to it. With the business of family life, being able to spend some quality time with your partner is not just tricky to manage, sometimes it can feel damn well impossible. Babysitters are not always easy to come by, and if you have children with special needs, you can replace the words “not always easy” in that phrase with “virtually impossible.”

If your kids are a bit older, you may not want to leave the kids at home for long, just in case something disastrous happens. We once left our teens alone and came home to one with a big lump on his forehead (“I was in the kitchen then I just woke up on the floor. I don’t know how I got there.”). On another occasion, when we got home the oven door was broken and it “just happened without anyone touching it or anything.”

So, what can you do? Never go out and go crazy, or have that elusive date and worry about home disasters while you are out?

For adults in desperate need of some quality time, forsake the idea of going out for date night, and stay at home instead. Once the kids are in bed, settle down together and do something you will both enjoy.

Here are some ideas for your date night at home.

Make it special

Date Night doesn’t have to be any less special just because you have it at home. If you want to create some beautiful memories together, recapturing the love you shared before the needs of the kids interrupted your relationship, you can make a home date work.

Fix a date and unless an emergency breaks out, mark it on the calendar and stick to it. By emergency, I mean someone losing a leg, not “I’m too tired so let’s watch TV in our sweatpants instead.” You could relax in your pajamas anytime, make it special by checking out some elegant dresses online and go all out for a glam feeling to your evening.

The same applies to all the men out there too. The least can do is have a shave and do your hair, unless your partner prefers the grizzled look of course. Taking the time to get ready for date night will help you both value its importance, but don’t stress if you don’t get the time. Being together is the crucial thing, so having the time to doll yourselves up is only the icing on the cake.

Date Night ideas

What you do on your special evening is entirely up to you. However, here are some ideas.

– Cuddle up together, and binge-watch the latest tv series on Netflix. Alternatively, pick a movie that you will both enjoy. You may choose to view something romantic to restoke those burning desires for later on, but if your partner refuses to watch anything with the word ‘love ‘ in the title, watch something that will make you laugh and de-stress together.

– Bring out your competitive side and play some board games. There are loads of two-player games you can enjoy together, and they go beyond the traditional chess or Monopoly versions of yesteryear. You could even invest in some of the more saucy couple games out there, specially designed to ramp up the heat for the evening.

– If you want to really feel the heat, get in the kitchen with your spouse and make one of these aphrodisiac recipes. Not only will they taste good, but they will get you in the mood for a little bit of bedtime action later on.

– Go through old photo albums (digital or otherwise) and reminisce about happy memories, such as your wedding day, honeymoon, vacation times etc. Let your conversation lead you into other essential moments in your life together, such as the moment you first met. As you relive those cherished memories, you can rekindle that spark that may not have been ignited for a while.

– You won’t be able to go far from the house when your kids are in bed, but you can still sit out on the porch with a glass of wine, or a cup of hot chocolate if it’s chilly. Cuddle up on the bench gazing up at the stars, and be thankful for the life you have together.

After date night

Following date night, start making plans for the next one. Life will return to normal after the wonderful night you have had with your loved one, but you can still look forward to the next time you can spend some quality time together.

Let us know your ideas for the perfect date night at home. Do you have an at home cinema experience on the sofa or are you and your partner reenacting Dancing With The Stars on the back deck?